1963 Lotus 23B
British Racing Green with Yellow Stripe
The Lotus 23 is part of a long tradition of Lotus’ giant-killing successes against much larger and more powerful cars. By using lightweight designs, the cars were oftentimes extremely competitive against cars like Jaguars and Ferraris, which had many multiples of the power output provided by the Lotus. The 23B variant received the twin cam engine in place of the smaller Coventry Climax units, and it was this car that Jim Clark drove away from the field at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1962. By the end of the first lap, he was leading the Porsches and Ferraris by 27 seconds, and his lead grew with each lap until a broken exhaust manifold forced Clark to retire.
This particular car, s/n 23-S-92, was delivered in Texas via Lotus Southwest in 1963, and is believed to have been an active Sports Car Club of America competitor in that area right from the time of delivery. At some point the car was exported to Mexico, and was located by Kermit O’Neal of Alamo Sports Cars (San Antonio, Texas) in 1990 in Mexico City. In 2014 O’Neal confirmed this to be the case with the present owner. He remembered the car well and personally drove to Mexico City to pick it up and repatriate it.
At the time of O’Neal’s discovery the car was owned by a Mexican pig farmer by the name of Mr. Sebron. O’Neal stated that he was offered two different 23s by Mr. Sebron, but only purchased this car. Nick Adams of the Lotus 23 Registry confirmed in 2014 that the second Lotus 23 from Mr. Sebron’s pig farm has been also been rescued. Don Schaefer, Lotus 23 Historian and parts supplier, also remembered talking to Kermit O’Neal after his trip to Mexico to pick up the car, and has exchanged correspondence about both cars with the present owner s/n 23-S-92.
Included with the car comes with the original Lotus chassis plate, which is of obvious importance with regards to authenticity. Nick Adams of the Lotus 23 registry has commented “I have high confidence that the plate is the original one.” (Via email April 9th, 2014).
More recently, well known Portland, OR vintage racer Ernie Spada Jr. purchased the car from Alamo Sports Car on December 4th, 1990 for $65,000, and a copy of the original receipt is included with the sale. Ernie and Mike Gent, of Gent Restorations flew to Texas, rented a U-Haul, and picked up the car in pieces. It was reported to be a basket case, but 100% original chassis and parts at that time. Upon their return to Portland, Gent started restoring the car. Gent first contacted the Lotus 23 Registry in March 1991 to notify them that he was working on the registration and to register the car with them.
Upon completion of the restoration, Mr. Spada raced the car on the West coast until it was sold to Dave Olson of California in 1995. Olson has by far the most logbook entries of the recent vintage racing history on the car. During Mr. Olson’s custodianship the car suffered an unfortunate crash in turn one at Sonoma Raceway. There was extensive front-end damage, and the decision was made based on safety and reliability to order and fit a new chassis. The chassis which is believed by all whom have encountered the car to be the original (with the front-end damage), is included with the sale, further solidifying the provenance of this particular car.
In 2006 the car was restored with the newly built chassis, and the engine was rebuilt by Kevin Chen, who at the time worked for Jim Groom Racing. Chen now works for Phil Reilly & Company.
In 2011 the car was sold by Fantasy Junction to David Alvarado of Northern California. Mr. Alvarado raced the car minimally before selling it onward by way of Fantasy Junction to the present owner. He has raced the car only four times between 2012-2015, with second place in class finish in the one hour enduro at the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational in 2015.
The car has performed well for the present owner, but the engine hours had not been closely logged by previous owners. Due to the unknown hours on the Lotus twin-cam engine, the engine was pulled in late 2015 and sent to respected twin-cam specialists Ivey Engines in Portland, Oregon for examination and dyno testing. Mr. Ivey commented that the lower end bearings, timing chain, and cylinder head are all in good order at this time. The dyno results are included within the paperwork posted here. The car has not been raced since this examination.
The car presents beautifully today, with very good historic racing cosmetics. Safety is of paramount concern to the present custodian, and as such a more modern seat with ample side support, modern roll hoop, and a tasteful side bar running along the driver’s right side pod have been added.
Included in the sale is the original chassis plate, the current and previous historic racing log books, copies of the Lotus Cars delivery sheet for s/n 23-S-92, and select other spares for historic race weekends.
This is a great opportunity to acquire a turnkey example of a well-sorted and restored Lotus 23B for historic competition. The historian community surrounding these cars is comfortable with the history of s/n 23-S-92 as presented here, and there are no other cars claiming this chassis number elsewhere. An ideal entry level historic entry to premier North American events, this lovely 23B will be sure to provide years of service for its next enthusiastic steward.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.